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How to soften Playdough (Play-Doh) – The Easy Way

Regardless of age, every person is interested in playing with playdough. Whether it’s an adult or a kid, all are fond of making shapes and sculptures with playdough. Unfortunately, it dries so quickly. Playdough is made up of salt, water, and flour that easily dries out. It means you can no longer craft it into your desired shape. But can you rehydrate your playdough and start playing again and how exactly to soften Playdough?

It is very easy to soften Playdough by adding the right amount of water. Even if your playdough is dry and not flexible like before, moisture can bring it back to life and it will be soft and stretchy again.

Playdough is a messy but creative object. Unfortunately, it dehydrates quickly when left in an unsealed container. Instead of tossing it, it is better to apply some tricks and hacks to make it rehydrated. Just spend a little time and effort and your playdough will be ready for reuse.
There are some easy and less time-consuming techniques that you can use to restore the softness of your playdough. Just follow the simple steps discussed in this article.

Why Is My Playdough Hard?

Playdough is a fun game for kids. They can be creative as much as they want. The manufacturing of playdough is an easy process. It consists of water, salt, and flour. Salt prevents kids and bacteria from eating playdough while flour is added for proper texture along with some food coloring.

Sometimes, playdough becomes too dry to assemble, or sometimes it becomes too sticky. Let us look at the reasons why playdough is sticky or dry.

  1. Leaving In Open Air
    Although playdough is fun, it can easily be dried if left in an unsealed container. This happens because the air in our surroundings evaporates the moisture content in playdough, leaving behind hard chunks of salt and flour.
  2. Absorbing Too Much Moisture
    Playdough is the most creative way to keep your kids engaged. But if the playdough absorbs a large amount of water from the surroundings, it can turn sticky. By adding an adequate amount of flour, you can fix this problem at home. Just add a little amount of flour and mix it properly. Your playdough will have the perfect texture like a new one. 
  3. Old Playdough
    Although playdough can be stored in an airtight container, keeping it for a longer time can result in dried playdough. To avoid such an incident, add water into the playdough and knead it generously. It’ll be fresh and ready to use. You can convert it into any desired shape.

Making a Playdough

Playdough is one of the most attractive toys for kids. It grabs their attention. Unfortunately, buying playdough frequently can be costly. You can prepare your playdough at home with simple ingredients. It will save you money as well as it will be a fun activity for kids.

Let’s get started!

This is the easiest and basic recipe for homemade playdough. To prepare the softest dough you must add all the ingredients stated below. Each one of them has its importance and plays a vital role.

  1. You can use other ingredients as well, the five basic ingredients are water, flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil.
  2. Take flour in a bowl and add salt to it. There are two benefits of adding salt. Firstly, it acts as a natural preservative and secondly, it prohibits kids from eating the playdough.
  3. For the softness of playdough, add cream of tartar. It prevents the dough from being dry and hard.
  4. The smooth texture of dough can be achieved by adding oil to it.
  5. The final step is to add water to knead smooth play dough.
  6. You can also add food coloring or essential oil but they are optional.

You can fix your playdough if it gets too sticky or hard. Follow the above-mentioned simple steps and your perfect homemade playdough is ready.

More recipes can be found here.

Can You Soften Dried Playdough?

It is so unfortunate that the playdough dries out. Sometimes even without playing with it. Turning into hard and flaky chunks makes enjoying playdough impossible. However, you can fix it. You just have to be consistent. Trust me, it won’t take much time. Following are the tried and tested techniques you can implement to soften your dried playdough.

Method 1:

To apply this method, you need to do the following steps:

  1. You can use toilet paper or a napkin, or any other soft paper absorbent. Soak your paper completely with water then wrap it around your playdough.
  2. Wrapping playdough will be easier if you convert it into a ball or a big solid chunk. Make sure you have covered the entire playdough.
  3. Take a plastic container and place the playdough in it. Make sure the container is airtight so the moisture shouldn’t escape.
  4. After covering it firmly from the lid, leave the container overnight.
  5. After almost 24 hours, remove the lid of the container and check whether or not the towel is wet.
  6. If the towel is not wet, remove it from the playdough.
  7. Squeeze and knead the playdough gently. It should be softened and ready to play again.
  8. In case, the dough is not soft yet then it might be time to buy a new one.

Method 2:

Another easy technique for softening the playdough is stated below:

  1. Start from breaking playdough into small and little pieces. It’ll be able to absorb water quickly and properly.
  2. Put the shredded pieces of playdough into a plastic Ziploc bag.
  3. Make sure the bag is sealed and there’s no way for air or moisture to enter.
  4. Add a little amount of water to the bag and shut it.
  5. Now mix the water and playdough gently. Knead it generously with hands so that playdough quickly absorbs water.
  6. You can add more water if needed.
  7. Leave the plastic bag sealed overnight. It is necessary for the complete absorption of water into playdough.
  8. Take out the playdough from the plastic bag if it is completely dry or else the color of the dough will scatter all over your hands.
  9. Knead it well with the palms of your hands and enjoy playing with it.

Method 3:

This is the most common method that is used to retrieve the softness of playdough. You need to follow the steps listed below:

  1. Take your dough in a bowl and add a drop of water to it.
  2. Don’t pour too much, just add drop by drop.
  3. Using fingers, help water to penetrate the dough.
  4. Be consistent and knead well to achieve the desired results.
  5. Continue repeating the same process until the dough is soft.
  6. Your playdough is again soft and slimy.

How Do You Make Playdough Soft And Stretchy?

The fun of playing with playdough is doubled when it is soft and stretchy. When the weather outside the house shuts other playing options then playdough comes to the rescue. A fun and creative way to keep your children engaged for a longer time.

Make Soft and Stretchy Playdough at Home

You can make your soft and stretchy playdough at home with ingredients that can be found at your house. There is no need to rush to the supermarket.

For the making of soft, silky, and stretchy playdough, you will need some cheap hair conditioner and cornflour or cornstarch. Just follow the simple steps stated below:

  1. Take a plastic bowl and add 2 cups of cornstarch or cornflour to it.
  2. Now add 1 cup of hair conditioner for silky and stretchy playdough.
  3. Knead the dough continuously for about 1 minute.
  4. Your dough is ready when kneading is done.
  5. You can divide your playdough into portions and add food colorings but it is completely optional.
  6. However, the white silky, soft, and stretchy playdough is still attractive and playful.

This easiest 2 ingredient recipe of playdough is all you need in this pandemic. First, kids will enjoy making playdough, and then playing with it will also be a fun activity. Due to its increased softness and silky nature, it is best for holding 2D shapes.

For the storage of this playdough, it is recommended to wrap it in a few coatings of cling film and put it in an airtight plastic container. Also, keep it away from light to prohibit moisture from evaporating.

The playdough is perfect for your little one’s tiny fingers. Digging holes in it or making favorite animals is all fun and joyful. The cherry on the top is the fragrance of the hair conditioner which makes it more appealing.

Making Playdough Soft and Stretchy Again

Sometimes playdough gets dried even if kept in an airtight container. In such a scenario, you can still make it soft and stretchy again. Following are the simple steps you can go after to fix your playdough.

  1. Take your playdough of a single color and place it in a bowl.
  2. Add a drop of water to it. If you have taken a larger amount of water then you may add more than one drop of water.
  3. Use your fingertips and palms to knead the dough continuously.
  4. Don’t give up until the playdough is fixed.
  5. Unstopped kneading of playdough will result in soft and stretchy playdough again.

Apart from all the enjoyment, your kids will get from playdough, make sure to keep adult supervision with them. Although, playdough is not made up of toxic materials but still can cause choking in kids. If ingested, stomachache, vomiting, or restlessness may occur. Don’t panic in such a case, your kid will pass it in stool with minor diarrhea.

How Do You Soften Playdough In The Microwave?

Playdough consists of amazing qualities. It doesn’t retire instead it can be recycled and reused every time. It is awesome that you can make one at home and no wonder it is one of the iconic playthings of all time.

Although playdough is a versatile toy, you can be creative as much as you like. Despite all the qualities, it gets dry when exposed to the air. The moisture content evaporates leaving the dried playdough. However, certain techniques and tricks can be implemented to restore the softness, stretchiness, and silkiness of playdough.

A very unusual yet useful method of softening playdough is by using a microwave oven. The guide below will help you to soften your playdough in the oven.

Take a microwave-friendly bowl and pour your dried playdough into it.

  • Add a little amount of water to make a sticky paste of dough and water.
  • Stir in generously to make a paste-like structure.
  • After mixing, put the bowl in the microwave oven until the mixture is dried.
  • You don’t have to dry it completely, just until you attain the desired softness.
  • Take out the bowl from the oven and start kneading the dough. Be careful, it’ll be very hot.
  • After kneading it for some time, your dough will be as fresh as a new one. It’ll be stretchy and soft with a smooth texture.

Making Playdough in A Microwave Oven

Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, preparing playdough is a productive and engaging way to keep kids busy. With the help of an oven, you can make the easiest and quickest playdough.

This is a one-bowl method for making playdough. Firstly, take a big bowl and pour 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon of oil, and a little food coloring into it. 

Now add two teaspoons of tartar cream, some salt, and finally one cup of all-purpose flour. Start mixing it with the help of a spoon until form lumps. Now, cover the bowl with a paper towel and place it in an oven for only 30 seconds.

Take it out from the oven and let it cool. After cooling, knead it and your playdough is ready. You can store it for 4-5 months in an airtight container.

Playdough is an amazing invention. You can rehydrate and reuse it as long as you like. From here on, think hundreds of times before throwing it away. 

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